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Diageo ploughs £41 million into Christmas sales push

Published:  05 September, 2008

Diageo is ploughing a record £41 million into brand, retailer and category activity in the run up to Christmas.

Diageo is ploughing a record £41 million into brand, retailer and category activity in the run up to Christmas.

The drinks giant is focusing on key spirits brands Smirnoff, Baileys and Bells to drive sales, investing in a number of concepts including display and point of sale materials, single bottle promotions and gifting.

Diageo GB sales director David Smith said that despite "challenging trading conditions" there was a prospect to draw £37 million worth of extra value from the spirits industry, which last year was worth £3.5 billion.

To push sales of Smirnoff, Diageo is launching its largest ever gifting range to include products at £10, £17 and £50 price points. It will also invest £3.5 million worth of marketing activity in the brand, to include the re-launch of last year's popular 'See' TV advert and a TV ad campaign for Moscow Mule.

It will launch its biggest campaign to date for Baileys, investing £6.5 million in a major marketing initiative with the strapline 'Listen to Your Lips'. The campaign is being backed by a £4 million spend on promotional activity including TV, print and outdoor plus in-store sampling, gifting and point of sale material.

Diageo has also doubled its marketing spend for Bells whisky this year, injecting £4 million into a new label for the brand featuring, for the first time in 50 years, Bell's founder Arthur Bell. It will also launch a TV campaign for Bells next month.

Smith said: "Despite challenging trading conditions we believe the opportunity is still just as big. This year marks our largest ever investment in Christmas; three times more than our number two and three competitors combined. We have 53 different gifting options across our ranges this year at a range of different SKU's for the trade and different price points for consumers."

According to data by AC Neilsen OFS, in 2007 the beer, wine and spirits industry was worth £3.5 billion in the 12 weeks to Christmas; £900 million of which was accounted for by spirits.